The Power of Cranberries
Cranberries are usually eaten only around the holidays. It’s really a shame we don’t eat them all year long as they are powerful foods that can work like preventative medicine. I got all emotional when I discovered all the things cranberries can do for us. Don’t you think it’s a divine plan that foods have special properties to keep us well? It makes me feel loved and cared for, and all we have to do is eat them.
Cranberries Feed a Special Bacterium
Cranberries are special prebiotics which means they feed a specific bacteria that promotes the growth of Bifidobacteria. New studies are showing that indigestible sugars found in the cranberry plant cell wall, called xyloglucans, provide food for Bifidobacterium and also break them down into other beneficial compounds.
Bifidobacteria are y-shaped bacteria found in your intestines, and they’re incredibly important for your health. They're found in the gut of newborn breastfed babies and adults as well. This beneficial bacterium digests fiber and other complex carbs your body can’t digest on its own. When these fibers are digested by the bifidobacteria they produce important chemicals called short-chain fatty acids along with B vitamins and healthy fatty acids. These compounds are huge in supporting gut health and even controlling hunger. Bifidobacteria will consume fibers and may help with weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases that plague so many people.
Many researchers are finding that people with chronic diseases such as celiac disease, obesity, diabetes, allergic asthma, and dermatitis all appear to have lower levels of Bifidobacteria in their intestines compared to healthy people. 
Cranberries Are Powerful Antioxidants
Cranberries have proanthocyanidins (PACs) which are very powerful antioxidants that remove harmful free oxygen radicals from cells. They have shown that the antioxidant power of PACs is 20 times higher than that of vitamin C and 50 times higher than vitamin E. That gives this berry superpowers!
Cranberries Prevent UTIs, Stomach Ulcers, and More!
The PACs in cranberries have a special structure called A-type linkages. The special structure of PACs in cranberries acts as a barrier to harmful bacteria that might latch on to the urinary tract lining.  This can prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and new studies have been done that found they may also help with preventing stomach ulcers and preventing cancer.   The PACs can also attach to the stomach lining, protecting it from the bacteria Helicobacter pylori which causes stomach ulcers and cancer.
Cranberries Prevent E. Coli Infections
PACs help prevent rare strains of E. coli from growing into large bacterial numbers that can result in outright infection. You're never going to completely eliminate certain bacteria like E. coli because they serve a purpose. You have billions of strains of E. coli helping you digest your food and make vitamins, but there are certain rare strains that can make you sick, like the ones you hear about in the news with food outbreaks. The good news is that the PACs in cranberries can form a barrier that keeps these strains from getting a foothold. I bet you didn't know that! Super cool how our body works, isn't it?
Cranberries Are Anti-Inflammatory
Cranberries also have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation throughout the body, especially the mouth, gums (periodontal disease), stomach, and colon. Since cranberries feed Bifidobacteria and allow it to grow and multiply, this will reduce inflammation throughout the body. Bifidobacteria are powerful!
Combine Cranberries With Kefir, Kombucha Veggies Or Water Kefir!
Combine cranberries with a probiotic food and you have a powerful ally to help keep you well. You get massive strains of good bacteria in kefir that will crowd out the harmful bacteria. Combine probiotics with cranberry's high level of PACs and large amounts of vitamin C, and then only the good bacteria can thrive in your body. The harmful stuff has to go bye bye. Don't you think it's cool that a food can help us prevent disease? All we have to do is eat it and let our body do the rest. This is pretty much what this site is all about.
I have lots of cranberry recipes below, all made with cranberries: Thank You Kraut, Kombucha UTI buster, and Cranberry Lime Kombucha Sparkler, smoothies, and more. I also have a new eBook with lots of cranberry recipes too!
We love cranberries - they're friends that keep us healthy.